Popularity in Massachusetts

Over at The New Republic, Jonathan Cohn has a piece about the Anthem Blue rate increase. It does a pretty good job of explaining how actuarial rules work…but I’m not persuaded by his blind faith in the Democrats’ plan’s ability to circumvent the averse selection problem. As noted in my earlier post, the two options are single payer (noted by Cohn), or market restructuring. You probably know which I favor…as single payer has shown to not control price inflation.

In any case, he claims that health care reform is popular in Massachusetts, a state which passed a similar system to the Democrats’ proposal back in 2006.

But it’s good enough, certainly. Just ask the people of Massachusetts, where such a system is up and running–and rather popular, as well.

Unfortunately, someone did ask people in Massachusetts, and it tips toward unpopularity at best.

What troubles me the most is that our experience of health “insurance” is so ingrained that people think there is no alternative to pre-paid health care. The most effective way of removing moral hazard and adverse selection is to use insurance sparingly, move most health transactions to an open marketplace, and provide means-tested cash transfers for the poor or chronically ill.


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